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Mike Bloomberg Says Democratic Primary Calendar Fails to Reflect Party’s Values and Harms Democrats in the General Election

January 13, 2020

Mike Would Change Primary Voting Calendar to Put Bigger, More Diverse, Battleground States Before Iowa and New Hampshire

Primary Reforms Would Produce a Better Nominee and Improve Democrats’ Odds of Winning the White House

NEW YORK, NY — Today in a new op-ed on CNN.com, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg proposed an update to the ordering of the Democratic Party Presidential primaries. As President, he would ensure the DNC works with state party leaders at every level to re-order the primary calendar in ways that better reflect the diverse electorate and channel more resources into the states Democrats actually need to win in November.

Specifically, Mike pointed out that the current schedule causes Democrats to focus the vast majority of their resources on two small states which are not representative of the country and don’t help Democrats win in the general election. In 2016, President Trump won Iowa by nearly 10 points. Iowa and New Hampshire, two of the least diverse states in the country, have a combined ten electoral votes. (According to the most recent census data, Iowa’s population is 90.7% white, and New Hampshire is 93.2% white.) By contrast, Michigan, for instance, has more than twice the population of those two states combined, is significantly more diverse, represents 16 electoral college votes, and was won by Donald Trump by fewer than 11,000 votes in 2016. But because Michigan’s primary is not until March 10, most Democratic candidates aren’t able to invest there.

Donald Trump has waged an uninterrupted re-election campaign in the battleground states since his first day in office, and recent polls show that major Democratic rivals are falling behind in key battleground states. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and will soon outpace every current Democratic candidate, except Mike Bloomberg, in cash-on-hand by almost 10 times, with millions more pouring in each day.

President Trump and the RNC are spending their resources not in New Hampshire or Iowa, but instead in the battleground states that are key to winning the general election — building infrastructure, organizing, holding massive rallies and getting their message out. In the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, for instance, the only candidates airing television ads are President Trump and Mike Bloomberg. Tomorrow while the Democratic debate is held in Iowa, President Trump will hold a rally in the battleground state of Wisconsin.

While Donald Trump focuses his spending on the battleground states, the Bloomberg campaign has been matching and exceeding his efforts, campaigning in the same target states, registering voters, funding anti-Trump digital ads and building field operations; these efforts will continue through November no matter who the nominee is.

The op-ed reads in part:

“As we Democrats work to protect democracy from Republicans who seek to exclude voters, we must also look inward, because our own party’s system of nominating a presidential candidate is both undemocratic and harms our ability to prepare for – and win – the general election …

… But right now, we are in danger of repeating 2016 in large part because, as Democrats focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump is operating at full-speed in the battleground states, with field staff and targeted television and digital advertisements. Tuesday, while Democrats are on stage in Des Moines, he’ll be speaking to thousands of supporters in Wisconsin — a state Democrats need to rebuild the Blue Wall …

… As president, I will ensure the DNC works with state party leaders at every level to re-order the primary calendar in ways that better reflect our diverse electorate and channel more resources into the states we actually need to win in November. This will build on the good work done by the party’s National Unity Commission to broaden the party’s base, empower Democrats at the grassroots level, and make our party competitive in every region of the country.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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